Kim Dotcom - a controversial hacker, businessman, singer and now politician
The original version of Popcorn Time was placed on Kim Dotcom's Mega service, but was taken down soon afterwardsReuters

Kim Dotcom has escaped jail after a New Zealand court upheld the internet entrepreneur's bail and declared he was "not a flight risk."

Dotcom, who has been on bail since February 2012, is fighting the US on charges related to online piracy but has continually maintained his innocence.

The German-born businessman, who changed his name from Kim Schmitz, was accused of secretly stockpiling cash and planning to quit the country, amid his three-year legal fight to prevent his extradition to the US to answer charges.

However Auckland's district court judge, Nevin Dawson, said he had found no evidence that Dotcom had been hiding money, and that the defendant is unlikely to attempt to flee New Zealand before his extradition hearing in New Zealand, scheduled for June.

Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield added that while the businessman was not deemed a flight risk, he does face further restrictions to his movement, including a ban from chartering any private air or sea travel.

The FBI shut down Dotcom's website megaupload.com in January 2012 and one month later pressed charges against the internet entrepreneur.

The agency claimed Dotcom had used the website to make around half a billion dollars from online piracy ventures.

Dotcom has since claimed he spent $10m (£6.4m, €8m) on his legal defence and says his legal team has now resigned as he has run out of money.

Despite this, his latest venture, an encrypted cloud file-hosting service called Mega, is earning revenues and will be valued at $210m once it merges with a publicly-listed company in New Zealand.

"I'm officially broke, right now," Dotcom said via live video link from his mansion in Auckland, New Zealand at the Unbound Digital conference in London last month.

"The witch-hunt worked. Everyone wants to see me burn. I'm an easy target because of my flamboyance."